The Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue was first published at the end of the eighteenth century, and given that the Coronavirus crisis is giving too much time to read books, I thought I’d pick a daily word from it until I got bored…..
I’ve found no evidence that this phrase was used in any book or magazine, although it’s marked as criminal slang, so it was likely used informally and verbally. The dictionary defines this as “a dog stealer”, which is interesting insomuch that this was a crime that was clearly a problem in the late eighteenth century, an early version of dognapping. And “bufe nabber” is a more exciting term for the crime than dognapping. Another one to get back in the vernacular.